With over 15 million students trained since their founding in 1968, Villari's Martial Arts Centers continue to train pugnacious pugilists young and old using techniques crafted by Grandmaster Fred Villari. Developed as a fusion of classic Eastern fighting styles, Villari's exclusive Shaolin Kempo Karate combines the graceful energy of Shaolin, the quick, explosive blows of kempo and karate, and the grappling of Chin Na to provide combatants with a varied, effective self-defense system. Children gain strength and discipline in youth classes, while adult classes leave grown-ups ready to handle anything from dojo defense to tense lunchroom stand-offs over the day's last apple bran muffin.
Climbers of all ages and skill levels scamper across roughly 22,000 square feet of climbable space inside Brooklyn Boulders's rock-climbing gym. A dedicated route-setting staff organizes color-coded problems on craggy, angled top-rope walls as well as bouldering walls that reach up to 15 feet. To help visitors master these walls, seasoned instructors train them in three basic types of climbing: bouldering, top-rope climbing, or lead climbing. They teach these skills through classes such as the peak-performance program, which combines seven classes in lead climbing, bouldering, and cross-training to accelerate students' learning. To ease stressed muscles and promote calm reflection, staffers also lead all-ages yoga lessons and monthly yoga workshops.
Brooklyn Boulders also injects creativity into its special events, which encourage visitors to climb in costume around Halloween and take part in competitions during which they pretend the floor has turned to lava. Staffers also invite local graffiti artists to display their murals inside, work to preserve regional climbing areas by partnering with Access Fund, and coordinate programs through its BKB Foundation?a nonprofit that provides greater access to rock climbing for kids and adults.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's Gym members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Located on the first floor of a renovated historic home in Union Square, Bow Street Yoga's gleaming hardwood floors and multiple windows let in ample amounts of natural light as one of of nine teachers leads students through Vinyasa, Yin, or restorative yoga classes. With their own unique specialties and teaching styles, the teachers are able to cater to patrons of all stripes, from athletic clients looking for a good workout to less intense participants looking for a prop-based session that incorporates blocks, bolsters, blankets, and chakra-cleansing rubber chickens.
As one longtime student says, "Jess doesn't care if you have three left feet." And it's probably this supportive and congenial attitude that earned?her spots on?Boston A-List as?Best Zumba Class?and RateYourBurn as one of the??10 Best Zumba Instructors for 2012. She approaches the dance-fitness hybrid sessions as a "feel-happy" workout, helping students of all experience levels feel welcome regardless of their natural rhythm. She only offers drop-in sessions, allowing students to come when it's convenient for them or when they've accidentally?sleepwalked? to the studio again.
Monadnock Glass Arts was shaped under the finely wrought fingertips of owner and flameworker Eric Duyette, who breathes more than a decade of experience into every blown sculpture, vase, and bulb. Classes introduce students to the art of flameworking borosilicate glass by creating holiday ornaments, marbles, pendants, beads, sea-life sculptures and various functioning & non-functioning lamp worked projects. Two torch workstations dominate the intimate studio environment where Duyette instructs with an emphasis on safety and proper ventilation and equipment use.